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EX-UTAH DIOCESE LEADER SERIOUS FOLLOWING SURGERY

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The Rev. George E. Bates, who retired this past summer as the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, was in serious but stable condition Friday in an Oregon hospital after undergoing surgery Thursday for two aneurysms.

Bates, 63, was hospitalized Thursday at Providence Medford Medical Center in Medford, said Malin Foster, spokesman for the Utah diocese.An aneurysm is a sac formed by local enlargement of the weakened wall of an artery. Bishop Bates apparently developed a lower aortic aneurysm and an aneurysm in the ileac artery, both in the groin area, according to updated information received Friday by Foster. He said he had spoken by telephone with Bishop Bates' son, Richard, who had traveled to Med-ford.

Foster quoted Richard Bates as saying that surgery to repair the aneurysms went well and that his father was resting comfortably. Bishop Bates' family feels optimistic about his chances for recovery, Foster said.

In October 1994, Bishop Bates announced his plans to retire due to continuing health problems, including cancer and two total hip replacements. He decided to take a medical retirement at the advice of his physicians. The clergyman, who directed the Utah diocese for 10 years, survived throat cancer, but his doctors recommended that he move to a more humid climate.